Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken with Onions

I've always wanted to go to Morocco. (Its next on the travel bucket list!) Short of actually travelling somewhere, eating the food is a pretty good consolation prize, right? 

When I saw this recipe in the January 2015 issue of Cooking Light I got excited. While it isn't exactly traditional Moroccan cuisine, this is the kind of recipe that allows you to try something new and different-peek into another culture-in an accessible, comfortable way. 

Did I mention it is completely delicious?

The key flavor in this dish is the spice blend ras el hanout. Its a spice bled from North Africa that combines cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. Quite a blend! 

I wasn't going to try making it myself, but finding it in the store was a challenge too. I struck out at three grocery stores including Whole Foods before finally finding it at William Sonoma. This one is worth the investment to add to your spice cabinet, guys. It is GOOD!

Sweet and smoky at the same time this was an interesting new flavor combination for me. It is perfectly complemented by the onions in the dish. This is real good guys, like real good. Like, go to William Sonoma tonight and get yourself some ras el hanout so you can make this asap. 

If you're like me you'll instantly start thinking about all the other things you can make with this spice blend. Whole roasted chicken anyone?

I served this with broiled broccolini with lemon juice. The citrus flavor on the crisp veggies went great with the aromatic chicken and onions. Alright, enough from me, check out the ingredients and directions below and get cooking! =)

Moroccan-spiced Chicken with Onions
From: Cooking Light
Servings: 4
Time: about 30 minutes

- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp ras el hanout
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6oz each)
- 1/2 Tsp salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups sliced yellow onion
- 2 Tsp honey
- Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat.

Add the ras el hanout to the oil in the pan and toast 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine the chicken breasts and spice-oil mixture from the pan in a zip-top bag. Seal and shake well to coat the chicken with the spice mixture. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the bag and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the salt. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Return pan to medium-high heat on the stove. Spray your pan with olive oil or cooking spray.

Add chicken to the pan and cook for 4 minutes. Turn an cook one minute longer. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add butter to the pan and swirl until melted and pan in coated. Add onion and remaining 1/4 tsp to the pan. Saute 2 minutes or until the onions start to get brown.

Return the chicken to the pan and drizzle with the honey. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with the lemon wedges. 

We drank a drier riesling and it paired well with the sweet-smoky chicken and onions and bright, citrusy broccolini. 

Calories 308, Fat 13.6g, Saturated Fat 5.1g, Sodium 490mg.


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